Pocopson rejects Riverside road dedication

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Issues with both Toll Brothers developments in the township

By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com

While Pocopson Township rejected taking over the roadways in the Riverside Toll Brothers development, there are a host of other issues with another Toll Brothers development, The Preserve.

POCOPSON — ‘Tis the season for giving, at least so thought Toll Brothers, which was ready turn over the roadways in the Riverside development to the township — but the township’s Board of Supervisors said that the roads and the development still aren’t up to snuff.

That means the roads won’t likely be turned over to the township until sometime this spring at the earliest, assuming various conditions are met.

It also means that the developer will again be responsible for plowing the roadways this winter — even more crucial than last year, as the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District has begun running school bus routes through the neighborhood, citing concerns about having students forced to get on the bus either on Lenape Road or Pocopson Road, both busy morning commute roadways.

The supervisors opted to reject the road dedication Monday night after a report from Township Engineer Jim Hatfield showed that various conditions from the original development plan had still not been met, including issues with roads, failure to plant in open spaces, storm water management issues and other concerns.

“Jim Hatfield recommends that we do not accept for a litany of reasons,” Supervisors chair Steve Conary said.

The supervisors, speaking to Mike Klein, a Toll Brothers representative who is now overseeing the other Toll Brothers development in the township, The Preserve, made it clear that they expect all of the issues to be resolved before the township will accept dedication of the roadways.

Of course, there continue to be complaints about the Preserve, as well, and Toll Brothers appear to have changed the local management of the new development, after a summer of complaints about excessive dust and, lately, too much lighting and neighbors complaints about work starting before 7 a.m., in violation of township ordinance.

Supervisor Georgia Brutscher said she’s been a supervisor for 25 years and never seen as much trouble with any housing developer as has been the case with Toll Brothers.

“We’ve never had problems before like we’ve had with Toll Brothers,” she said.

Lighting at the model home for the development, just off Corrine Road, continues to be an issue — and supervisors questioned whether the lighting system complies with township ordinance, both in terms of overall light output as well as design, noting that upward facing spot lights are prohibited.

There are also new concerns about the placement of a new construction trailer — placement of which has begun, although the township has not issued a building permit. The supervisors declined Monday to issue one until location issues are fully resolved.

Brutscher also noted that the developer appears to be violating the township sign ordinance — which permits just two lawn signs to be placed in public right of ways. Of late, many more than that number of signs have been seen all over the township. If the company wishes to have more, it either needs to formally seek relief and ask the township for an exception, or seek permission from local property owners to place the signs on local lawns.

Klein noted that the new development is a little out of the way and the signs are needed to drive traffic to the new properties. But supervisors were unimpressed with the developer’s plight.

“You knew it was out of the way when you bought it,” Brutscher said.

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